With its pretty blue and white paintwork and bold signage, you can’t miss Bowe’s Foodhall and Café.
Set in a handsome 18th century building on the main square in Durrow, it has been run by Sarah and Shane Bowe since 2013 and, well known for its good food and service, this atmospheric spot has become a favourite meeting place for people from a wide area - and a popular journey break too, as it’s about halfway between Cork and Dublin, and it takes only a short diversion off the M8 to reach this delightful place.
The building has received plenty of TLC in recent years and visitors love the ambience created by its many interesting features - the classic black and white flooring and whitewashed walls, and the lovely old walled garden with its weathered stone and outdoor seating for fine summer days - but it’s Chef Adrian Sheppard’s good cooking and the can-do service provided by friendly local staff that makes this busy place such a special destination.
The day starts early with a good breakfast (9-12.30), offering everything from organic porridge, homemade ‘superfood’ granola or muesli, to variations of the traditional hot breakfast, toasties, pancakes or freshly baked scones and breads - all accompanied by a drinks menu that ranges from hand roasted coffees and speciality teas to hot chocolate and handmade lemonade.
Then the lunch menu kicks in (12-3pm), opening up the choice to include a wide range of salads - warm chicken, Cajun chicken, Ardsallagh goats cheese - and a great range of sandwiches (‘Everyday’, ‘Premium’ and ‘Gourmet’). Many regulars come specially for the tempting Lunch Specials menu offering a dozen or so interesting dishes - a lovely chicken, apricot, pork & pistachio terrine, perhaps, or Bowes homemade fish cakes - or maybe the Bowe’s Chicken, smoked bacon, leek and thyme pie or Bowe’s homemade sausage rolls, all served with house salads from the salad bar.
There’s a ‘real food’ children’s menu offered too - and, even if you just want a cuppa and a bite of something sweet - a dessert, a slice of cake, or a simple scone, perhaps - you couldn’t be in a better place as delicious home baking from the in-house bakery is a particular point of pride. And, of course, with a takeaway menu offered too, there’s no shortage of tempting treats to bring home.
It's a really lovely place and everything is cooked and served very correctly - all made special by terrific staff, who make everyone so welcome, make sure that every customer has an enjoyable meal. No wonder everyone wants to return - as soon as possible.